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Links Round Up: Week Ending 13 December 2013

Hi and welcome to the latest edition of our Links Round Up!

For folks who don't know, the LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here.

To submit articles for next week's round-up, e-mail vpteam@vaginapagina.com. If you have additional articles you'd like folks to know about this week, feel free to comment directly to this post.

As a reminder, in lieu of trigger warnings, I use keywords describing the themes of the piece. Please skim these before deciding to read the excerpt or click through for the full article. Outside sources are not safe spaces, and mainstream source's comments should almost always be avoided. The links I highlight don't necessarily reflect VP's views, or even my own, for that matter.

This week's round-up includes: contraception coverage and the US Supreme Court; what fit shaming, fat shaming, slut shaming, and mom shaming have in common; white students and complaints of racial discrimination; sex and aging; Indian mascots “honoring” Native peoples; Health at Every Size and fat politics; on choosing not to have children; and Geena Davis and making Hollywood less sexist.

  1. A Guide to the Supreme Court's Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement by Laurie Sobel and Alina Salganicoff at The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (Keywords: health care, contraception, Affordable Care Act, US Supreme Court, religion, lawsuits, corporations, gender essentialism)
    At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act1 (RFRA)? If the Court finds that for-profit corporations have protections under the RFRA, then the Court will need to determine if it is a violation of the RFRA to require a business to provide insurance that includes coverage for contraceptives when that coverage violates the owners’ personal religious beliefs. The Court will also consider whether the contraceptive coverage requirement violates the First Amendment’s protection for free exercise of religion.2 The corporations’ owners have also asserted rights under the RFRA and the First Amendment. The Court will need to determine if the owners’ rights are violated by a regulation imposed on the corporation.



  2. What Do Fit Shaming, Fat Shaming, Slut Shaming, and Mom Shaming Have in Common? by Balancing Jane (Michelle) at BlogHer (Keywords: body image, motherhood, fitness, feminism, shaming, slurs)
    I remember the first time someone called me fat in an internet comment. We were having a debate about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. The person on the other side of the conversation was saying incredibly offensive homophobic things, and I was working very hard to stay level and calm. He then told me that my "girth" would prevent me from joining the military so I didn't get to have an opinion. Then he bragged that he didn't care what a "fat liberal feminist" thought anyway.

    I had never met this man. The only thing he had to go on was the picture in my Facebook profile, but it was enough for him to find the words that would cut me down and push me out of the conversation.



  3. Three white college students file racial discrimination complaint against professor over lesson on structural racism by Kate McDonough at Salon (Keywords: college, race, structural racism, workplace discrimination)
    A black female professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College was formally reprimanded by school officials after three of her white male students were upset by a lesson she taught on structural racism.

    Shannon Gibney says that the students reacted in a hostile manner to the lesson in her Introduction to Mass Communication class, with one of them asking her, “Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?”

    “His whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America,” she explained in an interview with City College News.



  4. 10 examples of Indian mascots “honoring” Native peoples Adrienne at Native Appropriations (Keywords: Native people, cultural appropriations, sports mascots, violence, images depicting violence and death, alcoholism, stereotypes, racism)
    Indian mascots, they’re totes honoring to Native peoples, right? That’s what fans always tell us, at least. Inspired by this image above posted on twitter, from a Sonic in Benton, MO, I decided to take some time to compile a list of just a few instances of how these mascots totally “honor” Native people. This is just from memory, btw. There are so, so, so many more.



  5. Health at Every Size is not fat politics. by Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist (Keywords: body image, weight, weight science, Health at Every Size, fat politics)
    Fat politics is sometimes termed “the fat acceptance movement” or “fat liberation,” but it goes by other names as well. The goal of this movement is political and social: to address societal power imbalances affecting fat people, and, hopefully, to restore balance through political actions like agitating for legal protections from size discrimination, and advocating for change in how fat people are treated in settings ranging from the sidewalk to the workplace to local businesses to the doctor’s office.



  6. To The Women Who Choose Not To Have Kids by Abby Rosmarin at Thought Catalog (Keywords: children, parenting, childfree by choice, gender roles, gender essentialism)
    To the women who choose not to have kids, I have one thing to say: thank you.

    You probably don’t hear it enough. In fact, you probably don’t hear it at all. What you do hear is an array of pro-childbearing responses, such as, “You’ll change your mind someday,” or, “Doesn’t your mother want grandkids?” or, “You’ll never find a husband if you never want to have kids.”

    All things considered, “thank you” is probably on the opposite end of what you hear.



  7. Geena Davis' Two Easy Steps to Make Hollywood Less Sexist by Geena Davis at The Hollywood Reporter (Keywords: women, gender, media representations, movies, television, sexism, Hollywood, Geena Davis)
    It wasn't the lack of female lead characters that first struck me about family films. We all know that's been the case for ages, and we love when movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen hit it big. It was the dearth of female characters in the worlds of the stories — the fact that the fictitious villages and jungles and kingdoms and interplanetary civilizations were nearly bereft of female population — that hit me over the head. This being the case, we are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space. Couldn't it be that the percentage of women in leadership positions in many areas of society — Congress, law partners, Fortune 500 board members, military officers, tenured professors and many more — stall out at around 17 percent because that's the ratio we've come to see as the norm



Also, in case you missed it, VP is looking for new SSM candidates -- and the deadline to apply has been extended to December 15.

Thoughts on any of these stories (minus the SSM candidate announcement; questions and such about that are best directed to that post)? Also, please don't hesitate to share anything I -- among other VP readers -- may have missed! What have you been reading or writing this week?
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